Saturday, September 14, 2013

Are you sure he is able to do that??

Of course I am! He is Autistic not dying! I swear if I had a dollar for every time we heard "Are you sure he to do that?" I think I would be able to quit my job! As soon as H was diagnosed Chris and I went through a phase that we didn't leave the house as much, limited what we did and altered everything. Not only did we hate it I believe that H did also. We thought that laying low and doing what we could to prevent meltdowns, eloping and just overall embarrassing head turning scenarios was the way we needed to go. However I felt I was being a bit hypocritical as I was bound to spread more awareness of what my child was diagnosed with. 
After a long talk we realized we will never be able to get him to adjust to these things if we keep him sheltered and always fear the worst. He has proved us wrong a few times and I think that is what we really needed to see to know what we are doing is actually the right thing. Then again there are situations we have been in that usually don't phase him and its been a complete nightmare.
Once we discussed and agreed that we would do our best to treat him just like a typical child his age I think we really started seeing in our hearts we were right but then we started facing more of the comments and questionings of those around us. I was reading on one of my Facebook Autism support pages about a young girl trying to get her grandparents to understand why she is so open about her son's disorder and how her grandparents say that it is no ones business and that those things should not be discussed. Most people responded with harsh comments towards the grandparents others like myself reminded these younger folks that our elders grew up in a time where being different and disabled was not ok. You were often seen as less of a person and not capable of meshing with society. Some have come around others still need more educating and understanding about what we believe to be acceptable to society now. When I say that I mean everything. I mean we are all different and that is what makes us so great. What a boring world this would be if we all hid our uniqueness and all conformed to the same standards society wanted us to be seen as. 
Just this week our son did something a lot of people felt was crazy. We let him preform a therapeutic riding demo at the West Texas Fair. We got all sorts of comments and questionings on it. My answer was the same. "How can we create awareness, educate and show others what these kids are capable of if we always keep them hidden and out of the sight of the general public?" Honestly though how would anyone really understand what we are doing for our son if I never showed him off? Is it a video that would be sufficient? A photograph or even a story? NO! First hand visual knowledge is the best and why not we are proud of H and I know he is proud of himself also. 
So now we have taken it a step further. Chris has been begging for me to let him to be a rodeo clown for Halloween  Ever since we took H to the rodeo last year he was wanting him to be something rodeo related and with his daredevil antics how fitting would this be! This whole talk was on the back burner till recently. At the parade Chris brought this up to our friend Richard and told him to get H signed up for Mutton Bustin. Yes my son will be riding on a sheep fully padded and protected. In fact I think its awesome we are doing something not therapy related and not worrying about it at all!
We want to expose H to all the things in this world we think he can do. If we limit him we might be missing something that could really have been his time to shine. We don't want everything modified for him but if it is required of course we want that for him. We want to see him succeed and do well, to find his nitch in society. If we always hold him back and keep him sheltered for fear of the what might happens, then we are really doing a disservice to not him but ourselves. 
So yes when you read/hear about us taking H somewhere, or trying something new with him just know we want to try and have as normal life as possible and we feel its best to do that by not setting limits before we see his true capabilities but using each situation as a gauge to know exactly what he is capable of and what works and what doesn't. Very much the same ways you would do this with your typical child. 
I do know I have friends who just can't do these things and I understand I just hope that one day they get to experience the things the way we do in some form or another. This journey is very unnerving and emotional so it is very important to stick together with other families on this same journey as us. Its always nice to see someone having your back and turning to. 
To those unfamiliar with what we face just know we want our kids to be just like yours. Treated the same, loved and accepted the same and the ability to do things yours do. So yes I am pretty sure he is able to do that!